Why is my child’s benefit reduced? How Child Tax Credit Claimants Are Switching to Universal Credit

Some people have reported seeing their child benefit payments go down, and they are unsure why.

Universal Credit

Families across the country receive child benefits, and as the cost of living crisis continues to grow, it can be a significant source of income for many.

However, some people have reported seeing their child benefit payments go down, and they are unsure why.

If that’s you, here’s everything you need to know about why profits may turn.

Why is my child benefit reduced?
You receive child benefits if you are responsible for raising a child who:

under 16
Under the age of 20 if they have been in approved education or training
Only one person can get child benefit for one child.

It is paid every 4 weeks and there is no limit to the number of children you can claim. They must live in the UK.

There are two child benefit rates. £21.80 per week for your first child, and £14.45 per week for a second child. It is usually paid on a Monday or Tuesday every four weeks.

One of the reasons for the change in your child’s benefit amount could be that one of your children has become too old.

Your child benefit stops on or after your child’s 16th birthday on August 31 if they drop out of education or training. It stops when your child turns 20 as long as he or she remains in education or training.

It is possible to receive additional child benefits for 20 weeks (called an ‘extension’) if your child reaches these milestones and either:

Registered with your local careers service, Connections (or a similar organization in Northern Ireland, the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein)
“Sign up to join the Armed Forces”
Your payments have been reduced because of other changes in your child’s life, such as if they get married, or move away.

Changes in your own life can also affect how much you get. This includes whether you are married, or if you live with a family with other children.

If you or your partner earns more than £50,000 individually, you may have to pay some of your profit as tax.

Why is my Child Tax Credit reduced?
Lately, you may have actually noticed a reduction in your child tax credit, which is independent of child benefits, and is due to a change in the system.

The government is using Universal Credit to replace the following benefits for people of working age:

child tax credit
housing benefit
income support
Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
working tax credit
Certain other benefits, such as individual independent payments (PIPs), will not be affected by these changes.

How do I claim Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is for people who:

are on low income
need help with your cost of living
are working (including self-employed or part-time)
are out of work
have a health condition that affects your ability to work
You can apply for Universal Credit online.

The government says: “You need to create an account. You use it to claim. You must complete your claim within 28 days of creating your account or you will have to start all over again.

“If you live with your partner, you both have to create accounts. You will add them together when you make a claim. You can’t make your claim.

“If you cannot make a claim online, you can make a claim by phone through the Universal Credit Migration Notice Helpline.

“When you or your partner makes a claim for Universal Credit, some of your existing benefits will stop and you cannot go back to those benefits as they expire.

You will not have to take a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) again when you switch to Universal Credit if all of the following apply:

You are receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
You have already completed the WCA
You have been assessed when claiming an ESA
“If your WCA is due for review, you will need to have another assessment. Your review date for the WCA will remain the same even after you claim Universal Credit.

“Universal Credit is paid once a month, usually to your bank, building society or credit union account.”

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